The app store is an interesting ecosystem; a constant battle between Apple trying to find ways to keep balance and quality as a top priority, while also allowing for developers to explore and express themselves through digital distribution. A new study by Adjust reports some interesting tidbits about the state of app stores, as well as some equally tantalizing information about user data and app consumption.

The report comes courtesy of Adjust's research into app data, mostly centered around education and kids utilizing mobile devices – an appropriate study given the back-to-school season and the growing market of mobile app usage.

They roll out some fascinating details about how many apps are geared toward kids, as well as what sort of apps make up the bulk of available services on distribution outlets.

For instance, did you know that out of the 1,299,049 apps currently available on the iTunes app store, only 80,203 are categorized for kids?

Additionally, 72% of kids under the age of 8 have used a mobile device or tablet, and 38% of kids under the age of 2 have also had access to tablet or mobile devices.

Christian Henschel, CEO and co-founder of adjust commented about the rising usage of mobile devices at the hands of youths, saying...
“As smartphones have become commonplace, the market for apps for children has emerged. Children are increasingly using learning apps to boost their reading skills, math, eye-hand coordination, and more. Tablets and computers are becoming commonplace in schools today, as they are regularly used for teaching. As children become more technically involved, and the lines between computers and phones get further blurred, we expect to see a rise in educational and child-appropriate apps for iOS and Android,”

One of the more interesting stats is that 60% of all the apps categorized for kids actually fall into the sub-category of “education”. 46.5% of these apps also fall into the category of “games”.

A very startling fact is that many math apps seem to be geared more-so toward young boys than girls, with the report noting that...
“There are 16,855 apps for non-college level math and they are targeted by the developers at boys three times more than at girls” … “At the same time, the reviews indicate much more balanced use of math apps by boys and girls: of all reviews that indicate children’s use and specify gender, 45% indicate that the user is a girl.”

That's very, very interesting. It would mean that only 5,618 of those apps are marketed as gender neutral, despite the fact that the study shows a near equal amount of engagement from both genders.

While stats from other sectors of the market show a greater affinity from females for mobile apps over their male counterparts, as well as a massive surge in casual spending on mobile devices, the stats here definitely make it kind of clear that there is a gender bias in how some apps are targeted – even just for educational purposes – for kids.

Given the limited spread of mobile devices over the years that they've been actively used for education and enlightenment purposes, I doubt the disparity between gender marketing will play much of a role in growth potential – especially given that the stats clearly show near equal amounts of engagement from both genders – but I do wonder if this will encourage more female technophiles in the forthcoming generation to adopt careers in the math and science departments?

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